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New in Theaters October 13: Happy Death Day, The Foreigner, Marshall, Professor Marton

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By Chris Kavan - 10/12/17 at 06:41 AM CT

It's a shame that Blade Runner 2049 failed to have much of an impact at the box office because, truthfully, there don't seem to be many other movies that will be able to boost October the way It boosted September. It's not for lack of trying as this week brings another four movies into the fray including the Groundhog Day-meets-horror Happy Death Day, the action-packed Foreigner and two biographies in Marshall and Professor Marston and the Wonder Women. Happy Death Day has the most promising case for the weekend, but I doubt it will amount to a massive opening as October is running 20.8% behind last year - pretty much erasing any gains that September brought.

HAPPY DEATH DAY Honestly, the idea behind this movie is great and I'm surprised it hasn't been done yet, seeing as Groundhog Day was released back in 1993. Happy Death Day is essentially a horror version of that movie, in which a college student Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) wakes up on her birthday, goes through the motions, including interacting with several people, and is murdered by a creep in a baby mask... only to wake up back on her birthday with a strange feeling of deja vu, before she is murdered yet again... only to wake up back on her birthday. She realizes, after being murdered in several different ways, the only way to break this maniacal cycle is to kill the killer before she dies yet again. She has plenty of people she can tell, but who can she really trust? The cast includes Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine, Rachel Matthews, Charles Aitken and Jason Bayle - that is to say, no really big names here - the movie is going to have to succeed based on its premise, not star power. That being said, this is another modestly-budgeted horror film that doesn't have to be a huge, massive hit to make money. I have a feeling it's going to do pretty good, seeing as we're approaching Halloween and all, and with It maybe finally dying down, it's time for another horror movie (don't worry, we're going to be getting plenty more too). But, for this weekend, Happy Death Day should find a decent audience - we'll see if it's enough to make October look better.


THE FOREIGNER Jackie Chan is one of the premiere action stars of our time. Known for doing his own stunts, the only thing that will slow him down is time - because you can't escape age. That doesn't mean that Chan is hanging up his hat, however, as The Foreigner proves. Chan plays Quan Ngoc Minh, a seemingly mild-mannered businessman who is powerless to stop a terrorist attack from taking the life of his daughter (Katie Leung). In order to find out who is responsible, he seeks out prominent politician Liam Hennessy (Pierce Brosnan), a man whose past is tied in to terrorist organization responsible for the bombing. But, unsurprisingly, Hennessy is not exactly candid about his past and attempts to blow off Minh, when that doesn't work, he takes a more violent approach only to learn he is not the only one with a shady past. Minh has his own dark history and isn't afraid to tap in to his special set of skills in order to learn the truth, leading to a deadly cat-and-mouse game between the two men. Chan has still got it, still doing his own stunts after all these years. The movie looks plenty exciting, but, like American Assassin and American Made, I don't see it making a huge impact at the box office. It should do well enough, but will likely end up another middling action film in this fall season.


MARSHALL The first of two biographies being released this weekend focuses on a young Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman). Years before becoming the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, even before his most well-known case Brown vs. The Board of Education, Marshall was a regular lawyer, and found himself on the case of black chauffeur accused of rape by his white employer. Josh Gad is actually the lead on the case, even though he has never worked on a criminal case, after the judge (James Cromwell) deems Marshall is not good enough and assigns him as an assistant. Sterling K. Brown plays the accused chauffeur while Kate Hudson plays the victim. Boseman has made a career out of bringing biographies to life - as seen in 42 and Get On Up, so this is right in his wheelhouse. Marshall may not have the heft required to be a true awards contender, but it looks like it will play well as it looks a bit more loose than most staid, and let's face it, boring biographies. I expect a decent return, though nothing mind-blowing.


PROFESSOR MARSTON AND THE WONDER WOMEN One biography just isn't enough this weekend, so let's throw in another one. Wonder Woman was not just one of the best superhero movies of the year, but just good in general. But the idea behind that character came from the mind of William Moulton Marston (Luke Evans) an unconventional Harvard professor and psychologist. He was also an inventor, the modern lie detector is one of them, but was also known for his unconventional relationship. That is, a polyamorous one between his wife Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall) and a former student Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote). Both women, along with their feminist ideals, were key in shaping the character who would become Wonder Woman. But the character might have been ahead of her time, as it caused an uproar upon release, with Marston taking most of the heat. I don't know if the success of Wonder Woman will have any affect on the bottom line for this film. It looks well cast and interesting, but for general audiences, I don't see it being much of a hit.


Another week, another glut of movies. Blade Runner was a bit of a bust, we'll have to see if any of these new entries can improve the October forecast. I'll be back on Sunday with the results.

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